Kilkenny GAA: High-scoring Clara storm past James Stephens in Shield final

Clara 1-22, James Stephens 0-12

Trevor Spillane

Reporter:

Trevor Spillane

Email:

tspillane@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny GAA

Chris Bolger was the main threat as Clara lifted the senior hurling league shield title, beating James Stephens in Bennettsbridge PICTURE: WILLIE DEMPSEY

A strong second half performance helped Clara wrap up their senior hurling league campaign and add the Shield title to the trophy cabinet.

The winners racked up the scores, shooting 16 second half points as they breezed past James Stephens at a blustery Bennettsbridge.

After a close-fought first half, Clara made the breakthrough when Paul Cody pounced for a goal in the dying seconds of injury-time. That gave them a 1-6 to 0-6 advantage at the interval. They never looked back from there.

Clara moved through the gears in the second half, with Chris Bolger leading the scoring. In an impressive display he helped himself to even points in the new half – more than the James Stephens tally – as they put more daylight between the sides.

The Village, who were without several regulars, fought until the end. Dinny Stapleton and Eoin Guilfoyle (free) tacked on late scores but the day belonged to Clara, who rounded off their win with points from Peter Nolan, Martin O’Connell and Jason Byrne.

SCORERS:

Clara – Chris Bolger (0-8); Paul Cody (1-1); Jason Byrne (0-3, frees); Liam Ryan (0-3); Conor O’Shea, Martin O’Connell (0-2 each); Jim Kehoe, Jack Langton, Peter Nolan (0-1 each).

James Stephens – Eoin Guilfoyle (0-6, 0-5 frees); Mikey Drennan, David Walton, Jack McGrath, Willie Spencer, Conor Browne, Dinny Stapleton (0-1 each).